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Douglas Council welcomes scrapping of 'unacceptable' phone mast
United Kingdom Created: 24 Jan 2022
Controversial plans for a phone mast in a conservation area would have had an unacceptable impact on the area, Douglas Council has said.

The Environment Department this week supported an independent planning inspector's recommendation to throw out the application by telecoms firm Sure.

The authority had lodged an appeal against the initial decision to approve the structure in July.

Sure chief executive Mike Phillips said he was "disappointed" by the decision.

The plans for a 15m (49ft) pole on an empty plot of land on Woodbourne Lane in Douglas drew an angry response from residents in the area when approved by planners.

'Sensitive and protected'

Douglas councillor Falk Horning said the authority was "delighted" the appeal against that decision had been upheld.

Mr Horning said: "While the Council understands the importance of a high quality mobile phone network, the proposal in this case would have had a completely unacceptable impact on the surrounding area.

"The council considers that mobile network operators should be doing more to work together to share infrastructure so that it does not proliferate, particularly in sensitive and protected parts of the borough and the wider island."

The inspector's report said the proposal would have caused significant harm to the character of the surrounding area, and the firm had failed to demonstrate a strategic national need for the development on that site.

Sure previously said the permanent mobile antenna and supporting structure were needed as part of the firm's efforts to "future-proof the island's mobile technologies including 5G".

Responding to the decision to throw out the plans, Mr Phillips said the firm's services were "critical to our community" and the proposal had been in line with the government's national telecommunications strategy.

"Continued investment in additional equipment is required to address exponentially rising demand from customers," he added.
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Source: BBC News, 20 Jan 2022

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